Community Based Assessment and Treatment
Part of our commitment to improving our quality of care means dedicated and personalized support to those who need it most. As such, VIP pioneered the HUB and electronic medical tracking systems, which include a network of six health centers around Los Angeles County that respond to victims’ immediate needs and ensure a consistent level of care regardless of where the victim lives.
Within this network, VIP has become the largest HUB, evaluating and treating over 70% of child abuse cases in the County. We proudly continue to be the only 24/7 clinic for abuse and assault within L.A. County and are the only center to integrate on-site mental health and case-management services for children in distress and their families.
In 2014, the VIP CATC was recognized by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection of the County of Los Angeles as the only Hub providing the continuum of services needed to keep high-risk and foster children safe.
With this innovative and integrated system of care, VIP and its county partners are able to identify and track any child who has been brought in for suspected abuse, preventing them from getting “lost in the system.” VIP’s ability to work with the Department of Health Services and the Department of Children and Family Services in strengthening the child welfare system is what makes our public-private partnership with Los Angeles County a uniquely successful model.
Sexual Assault Center
Co-located within the VIP CATC is the VIP Sexual Assault Center, which is internationally recognized as the standard of care for victims of sexual assault. The first sexual assault center to be established outside of the emergency room, the VIP Sexual Assault Center has medical experts available 24/7 to provide forensic and medical exams in a calm, panic-free environment in order to help prevent victims of abuse from having to experience further trauma.
For more information, please call (323) 409-3961.
Over 70% of child abuse cases in Los Angeles County are evaluated by our expert staff.KAREN DONLEY
DIRECTOR OF CHILD SERVICES
Services Provided at the VIP CATC include:
- Child Abuse Assessment and Forensic Exams
- Follow-Up and Ongoing Primary Medical Care
- Dental Care Clinic
- Legal Advocacy Services
- Medical and Mental Health Evaluations For All Patients
- Specialty Medical Clinics (I.E. Radiology, Asthma, Diabetes, etc.)
- Case Management and Linkages with Community-Based Resources
- Adult Sexual Assault Assessment and Forensic Exams
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Clinic
VIP knows that some children face additional challenges from birth.
The reality is, many children face a difficult start due to prenatal alcohol exposure. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) represents individuals experiencing the full range of effects associated with this.
As the largest in the nation, VIP’s FASD Clinic provides screenings, diagnosis, and trainings to thousands of children impacted by FASD and the caregivers who strive to help them succeed. Today, children who have FASD account for 5% of the population, a number ever greater than those affected by autism. The rate of FASD within children in foster care is even higher.
Why is this important?
When a pregnant mother drinks, often before she realizes she is pregnant, the alcohol she ingests can have a significant impact on her baby’s brain. This change in the baby’s development often goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed as ADHD, and can lead to behavioral challenges, issues with a child’s development and executive functioning abilities, and potential learning disabilities.
Without a diagnosis and coping techniques, foster children who have FASD and the caregivers who look after them can get deeply frustrated by “behavioral problems” that are merely the child acting out the only way they know how. This disconnect between the child’s behavior and the biological rationale behind it often results in the child failing multiple foster family placements, leading to additional emotional trauma.
We support those who support the children.
Our caregivers are the pathway to a better life for our children. At our FASD Clinic, we focus on awareness, diagnosis, and early education for the very people who make a difference. For a child, the earlier the diagnosis, the earlier we can offer the appropriate support and resources required to promote the best outcome. Our goal is to equip both the child and their caregivers with the knowledge and skills to cope with FASD and ensure the child succeeds with his or her foster family.
To schedule an assessment for a child, contact Yesenia Enciso at (323) 409-3902 or for FASD support services and classes, contact Dr. Michele Walker-Bauer at (323)221-4134 x107.
Mental Health Services
Making positive mental health a crucial part of our care.
The staff of the Violence Intervention Program know that after a child has experienced trauma, often the internal emotional wounds can take years to heal, long after the external bruises have disappeared.
That’s why, since 2001, the VIP Community Mental Health Center, Inc. (VIP CMHC) has made mental health assessments and services a key component in our care for children and youth who experience abuse.
Using evidence-based practices, our mental health clinicians are trained to provide a variety of therapies designed to meet the unique needs of our clients.
Traditional and Group Therapy
We know that after a child has experienced trauma, the internal emotional wounds often can take years to heal, long after the external bruises have disappeared. Left unaddressed, these emotional wounds have long-term negative consequences, resulting in depression, aggression, emotional detachment, or the repetition of learned abusive behavior.
The earlier we can address emotional trauma, the greater likelihood that we can ensure a child’s long-term success and break the cycle of abuse. That is why we have made mental health integral to all our support programs, and provide the only child abuse Hub in Los Angeles County to offer full mental health services to our clients and their families.
Just like every child learns differently, we understand that while some children might respond best to individualized therapies, others respond better in group sessions with other kids and/or their caregivers. Using a wide array of evidence-based practices, our mental health clinicians are expertly trained to provide and tailor appropriate therapies designed to meet the unique needs and strengths of each child and their family.
For those children who are unable to come to VIP for medical reasons or transportation issues, we offer home-based therapy where a child may feel more comfortable. Ensuring adequate mental health services for every child in distress has allowed our clinical staff to succeed in the most critical of cases.
VIP remains the only site to automatically provide a mental health assessment to each child that comes through our doors.
Birth to Five Services
Our clinicians know that the earlier we can strengthen a family, the better an outcome we can see. Often, mothers who have an unplanned pregnancy too young or who have been exposed to violence and abuse, have difficulty connecting with their baby. This emotional detachment, if unchecked, can result in neglect or the child being at risk for abuse themselves.
Our goal is to strengthen the bond between parent and child.
This is why VIP has developed an innovative Birth to Five program for our clients and their caregivers. The goal in Birth to Five is not merely the short term immediate changes in behavior, but rather the long term patterns that will positively affect the family throughout a child’s upbringing — often resulting in the caregiver identifying their own symptoms of trauma, anxiety and/or depression.
At VIP, we understand that the path to recovery requires a holistic and collaborative approach between VIP and the families we serve.DR. MARIBEL MEJIA
For many of our families, getting to VIP for weekly appointments can create a challenge due to limited transportation options or work commitments. Meanwhile, for other children, visiting VIP might be too stressful and disruptive, especially for a child that has suffered extreme trauma. For this reason, VIP has a vibrant and growing school-based therapy program, delivering services right where children often need it the most: at their school.
Through strengthening relationships with administrators and providing a much needed layer of support, our clinicians are educating area schools to be better aware of positive mental health and serve as a stronger support structure for their students.
Recovery, Resilience, and Reintegration (RRR)
VIP provides Community Outreach services, Mental Health Services (at various levels of care from Intensive to bi-weekly), medication support, case management and Individual Rehabilitative services by a team of a Mental Health Clinician and Case Manager/Rehabilitation Specialist that works closely with the child or youth and family to help support and meet treatment goals.
FASD Family Support Services
We support our children by empowering their caregivers.
To compliment the screening and diagnosis at our FASD clinic, VIP offers family support services to work with both the client and the caregiver in developing coping skills and strategies to manage FASD within the child.
A six-week parenting class that educates caregivers on the link between brain abnormalities and the development and behavioral problems seen in their children with FASD.
Families Moving Forward (FMF)
FMF is a one-on-one intensive program developed specifically for caregivers of children with FASD. FMF clinicians work individually with a caregiver providing them with parent support and education, training in specialized parenting techniques, and assisting caregivers develop confidence in dealing with their child’s behaviors.
Each and every day, at VIP we ask the questions, “What Do You Need?” and “How Can We Help You?
At VIP, we understand that the path to real recovery requires a holistic and collaborative approach between VIP and the families we serve. In addition to traditional mental health, we have supportive case management services available to children and their caregivers.
Each and every day, at VIP we ask the questions “What do you need?” and “How can we help you?” The answers we receive usually involve needs that lie outside the realm of traditional care, such as emergency housing, food assistance, orthodontia, or tutoring, but are just as crucial for a child or family to heal and thrive.
Our case managers help children and their caregivers access resources available to them. They advocate for the needs of the child and help caretakers prioritize their time and the use of their resources in the best interests of the family.
It’s one more way we treat every case with personal care, and help our clients move forward.
Adolescent Care Transition
Teens within the foster care system face unique challenges, and our Teen Clinic has grown over the years to provide a place of safety and comfort for them.
With fewer foster families open to adopting older teens, most youth find themselves trapped in a system that is ill-equipped to provide the necessary support needed to succeed. Foster teens, many of whom have been cycling in and out of the system their whole lives, can bounce between foster placements, ending up on the streets and at high risk for sexual exploitation, sexually transmitted infections, and unplanned pregnancies.
In growing our response to the urgent medical needs of teens in and transitioning out of foster care, VIP has developed the Adolescent Care and Transition (ACT) Clinic within the VIP Children’s Medical Village. The ACT Clinic serves as a teen-focused medical home for youth in a variety of stages: those in and aging out of foster care, those discharged from Probation, youth with chronic illness, pregnant and parenting teens, and high-risk youth in the community.
For more information, please call (323) 409-3233.
Services at the Teen Clinic Include:
- Forensic/Medical Treatment and Subspecialty Services
- Mental Health, Dental, and Nutritional Screenings
- Advocacy Services and Case Management
- Pre-natal Care/Obstetrics and Post-natal Care For Preganant Teens
- Walk-In OB-GYN Clinic For Pregnancy Counseling and Pregnancy Prophylaxis To Prevent Additional Teen Pregnancies
- Sexual Health Counseling To Prevent Risky Sexual Behaviors and Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Medical Home For Ongoing Care For Both Teen Parents and Infants
- Parenting Workshops For Pregnant and Parenting Teens
Part of our mission is to provide protection from violence and neglect for everyone who needs it. Our services for adults begin in the crucial transitional stages between teen care and foster services, a time when many older teens face a number of unique challenges.
The reality of the current landscape in cases of foster care by age 19:
- 50% will have severe behavioral or emotional problems
- 45% will be homeless and living on the streets
- 46% will not graduate high school
- 50% of females will be pregnant or already have a child.
Additionally, in interviews conducted by the Blue Ribbon Commission, many foster youth expressed that they could not trust their social workers or foster families and many of them felt that no one cared about them.
VIP works every day to change this outlook, and improve the adult life of those who have suffered throughout their childhood and teens.